Critical Analysis of Literature and Evidence-Based Medicine
The ability to critically analyze medical literature is an important skill. Ethically conducted research with clearly reported methods and repeatable results is the only valid basis for clinical practice. Unfortunately, poorly designed or even fraudulent studies are common in the literature, and even the best-conducted research may be challenging to interpret and apply. In observational studies, it is important to assess for external validity, as well as sources of confounding and bias. Even the largest-scale data analyses are not free from these concerns. In clinical trials, it is also important to assess for external validity, public registration of the trial, and other elements of good practice as defined by the CONSORT statement. Although systematic reviews and meta-analyses are considered the highest standard of clinical evidence, they are limited by the quality of the studies that they are based on.
KeywordsEvidence-based medicine Meta-analysis Systematic review Peer review Medical ethics Research ethics
- 1.Goldacre B. Bad pharma. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2013.Google Scholar
- 2.Rothman K. Modern epidemiology, vol. 652. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: LWW; 2008. p. 682.Google Scholar
- 3.Woodward M. Epidemiology study design and data analysis, vol. 565. 3rd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2013. p. 567.Google Scholar